I’ve been rather quiet

First, for those who follow me, I want to apologize for my long periods of silence. Things have been going on in my life that have kept me quiet. I won’t go into most of them, but especially for the past few weeks it seems to be one thing after another. Much of which makes me want to scream in frustration.

So in my silence I’ve been working my way through editing book 3. What’s up with Shattered Illusions? It’s still out to my beta readers until the end of the month and right now book 3 amuses me. We’ll see if it entertains my alpha reader when I release it to him.

I’ve also been playing FFXIV and have become almost obsessed with getting all the relics maxed out. I already had all of the 2.0 ones at least to Zenith (now Atma) when I started picking it up again – 2 were Zetas already turned in for 3.0 relics (I’m only at 3 Zetas now, but I’ve been lazy on those). I also had 4 or 5 of the 3.0 relics started and am up to 6 (I’m using the 2.0 Zeta relics to buy the stuff for the 3.0 relics because crystal farming is mind numbing and retainer space is limited). My main is now fully upgraded and I’ve got 3 more at i230.

And now that I’ve lost most of you…

I’ve been doing some sales lately on my book for the holidays. The ebook is again on sale at $0.99 now on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. I have the print version available through my online store for 20% off with the coupon code HOLIDAYS.

Other than that, just trudging along.

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Game Night Tales: Olympics

Before I start, no we didn’t have a special Olympics event.

However, our fail ninja did actually manage to look spectacular in front of other people for once. Usually Sarla only pulls off epic feats when no one is looking and and soon as other PCs are watching her, the dice hate the player.

In trying to get back to Karameikos the ship they were on was attacked by pirates. Qadif, the party’s wizard, tried to sink the ship before it got close enough. It wasn’t enough. Pirates began boarding in two areas.

Savanas held one group while Brunnhilde tried to perform an epic jump to the other ship and couldn’t make it over the railing of the one she was one (full plate might have made that an issue…either that or paladins can’t jump). Most of the others began holding the other area.

Eventually the fodder died enough to allow our party to start jumping to the other ship. Sarla, in an epic twist of fate began performing Olympic-level acrobatics to get around enemies to kill them.

Savanas held her position after creating a small corpse wall – unsure of the footing with all the blood spilled on the deck. After some harassment from the DM, I had her cast Jump on herself and far outdo Sarla on acrobatics (to which then started the discussion of who was in what place for what medal). This also included jumping with both blades pointed down onto the boss on the deck below.

And that is how we celebrated the Olympics in game (and now Savanas has a ship).

Game Night Tales: Need a lock Pick

Stuck in a very unfriendly area that requires papers to basically exist (seriously, papers for everything and fines in the thousands of gold – bribery is rampant). My bard (Lindale) sneaks into a smaller town to the south to try and get an idea of what these papers look like so she can forge them. The party was unfortunately dumped here from another plane so they didn’t exactly arrive legally.

A few hours later and some of the rest of the party decides to go to town. Our wizard (Qadif) and cleric (Dorgan) go, end up at a tavern that makes a deal with them to get into the assessor’s office and then they will help the party get off of the island. My urban ranger (Savanas) decided to sneak into town at the same time and find Lindale.

Both Lindale and Savanas are now outside of the closed assessor’s office, hidden and looking at their options. Neither one has disable device.

In the meantime, the remainder of the party outside of town gets robbed and our druid (Delisa) helps get our rogue (Pick) out of the major city to the west. Pick has been busy lifting papers off of people, but he hasn’t exactly been trying to match the party.

Eventually everyone ends up at the tavern. Lindale begins talking to the people willing to get them off in exchange for getting into the assessor’s office and the worst pun of the night comes out: “We forgot our lock Pick.”

Grab Pick, get in, get what we need, and get our butts off of that island.

Game Night Tales: Sometimes things are prophetic

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Twisted Magics. So please, if you don’t want me to ruin a particular event, stop reading now.

Why did I put up a spoiler warning? Couldn’t I have told this gaming tale without it? Nope, because I had written the scene long before an all too similar event happened in game. It kind of freaked me out to be honest.

I’ve held off posting this tale as it happened roughly a week and a half before Twisted Magics launched.

Now, for those of you that have read through Twisted Magics know what happens to Big Black…

Savanas was first a D&D 3.5 (then Pathfinder) character of mine. We still use Mystara as a setting, which is vastly different from Terra, but I easily brought her skills and personality into my world. This included Big Black whose game name was Sirius. Retanei has Remus – totally made their animal companions when I was on a Harry Potter kick years ago. No regrets, but figured I should revamp their companions at least in name going into Terra. (Remus ended up being Artemis’ father)

Now, keep in mind, the mix of characters is vastly different from story to game also. Different fight. Different world… actually a totally different plane, but that’s a tale for another time. Going from game to story is one thing, but vice versa – that’s something else altogether. Especially when it is not at all intended to mimic the story.

cane-corso-mastiff-119.jpg

This is an Italian Mastiff. It’s what I had in mind for Sirius/Big Black.

What happened in game? Well, my bard, Lindale, Savanas, and Sirius snuck past the rest of the group fighting on the floor below. On the next level, they spot soldiers trying to hide to create an ambush. Six total. Lindale creates a Minor Image of our paladin, Brunnhilde, (who is still downstairs) and manages to confuse four of the guards into attacking it.

Savanas and Sirius manage to get the jump on the remaining two guards (who are trying to convince the other four they shouldn’t be attacking the Imaged Paladin). Savanas decapitates the boss of this group and Sirius enjoys mauling and dragging the other soldier to the floor.

Those two are quickly dispatched – Savanas went over to the one Sirius was working on and immediately killed him with two natural 20s and a confirmation. They moved on to the next two who finally realized they were fighting an illusion. And on a fun note: one pissed his pants after witnessing Savanas take down his boss so swiftly.

The rest of the party (sans the rogue, Pick, who is on the roof trying to figure out how to break a window and start blowing up the boss with his wand of fireball) gets upstairs and are now seeing a path of death being created by the two. They also see the Image Paladin. Most of them are confused and think that both of these Brunnhildes are real (it’s actually scary because she’s very violent).

Lindale thinks it’s hilarious and keeps up the image, which continues to confuse the remaining enemies. Savanas is wearing down, her strikes not so solid anymore. Sirius keeps hurting and bringing down his foe.

Then he gets up. The DM rolls 20. 20. And then confirms the hit, which is an instant death in our house rules. Our Brunnhilde’s player is in tears at this point. She was one of my beta readers and had gotten upset over the death of Big Black.

I have never seen so many people trying to figure out how to save a character and be utterly vengeful over it. Any of the normal characters it probably would have been a “oh well, reroll” kind of attitude. The death of this massive black dog just brought everyone low.

Savanas did not get her vengeance on the enemy that murdered her dog – the others jumped him before she could get a chance. The game ended that night with Savanas standing, swords dripping with blood, her anger barely contained (we didn’t continue on after this to the boss as it was late).

Admittedly, I had to haul myself out of Savanas’ head. I knew I’d be getting upset, but as a player, I had to rationally think through what would happen next. I never had an animal companion die before and needed to start thinking ahead and begin working with our DM to figure out how/when to replace Sirius.

And it broke my heart to write that. Here, have a puppy.64c1fef3233eacc8f9666284d3b7f15f

Please note that the images are not mine, but I could not tell who they originally belonged to in order to give credit.

Muse Monday: In rememberance

Some people like to put in things for people who have been in their lives. I’m sure someday I will, but my latest little cameo was to a player character in our gaming group that one of my characters killed.

He took a swing at her first. It was the last thing he did.

Anyway, I didn’t give him a glamorous or even remotely nice little place, but his name was mentioned. At the very least it entertained me and I’m sure once a couple of my upcoming beta readers (who are also players) get their hands on that part, it will make them smile (at least it wasn’t one of theirs I inadvertently killed).

Perhaps not the most Muse Monday worthy topic, but he ended up in a large section I rewrote and I had people look at me funny for giggling maniacally. Did I mention my characters were not fond of him to begin with?

Muse Monday: Paladins

2016-06-16 20.55.16I saw this image on my Facebook feed and of course sent it along to the paladin in our gaming group. Brunnhilde takes this as far as she can on a regular basis. She’s got a really good diplomacy, but her violent tendencies make it ineffective. One of these days, they’ll let the bard take over for talks.

However, I suppose the same could be said of Silver Blaise, though he’s not to Brunnhilde’s extreme. He’s more of a protector and a healer, though I can’t say how events outside of the church may change his disposition over time.

No, that wasn’t a hint at anything – I really don’t know.

PaladinsWhat I find interesting about the alignments in tabletop RPGs is that they are far more flexible than most people give them credit for. I bought my husband a shirt with this saying to the right a while back. And I love the complexity that can be brought to the otherwise “goody two-shoes” character.

Though I still enjoy playing chaotic neutral characters predominantly, but I’m also enjoying the struggle right now in game of my one lawful neutral character. Brunnhilde might get decked (or worse) for kill-stealing from Savanas who is currently out for revenge. More of that story in a later post.

Do I adhere to the alignment system for my characters in my books? No, I don’t keep that stuff in mind while I’m writing and I’ve never assigned an alignment to anyone that hasn’t come from gaming. Silver may be the exception as he is a paladin and  I usually walk the line at points with him. Case in point in Twisted Magics is when the reporter approaches him and Ketayl. I’ve got another fun one in book 2, but obviously, I’m not sharing right now.

Things like this sometimes help generate personalities or help determine the course of action a character might take when I’m not certain, but like I said, I don’t typically keep this in mind while writing.

Twisted Magics

Twisted Magics will be available in 2 weeks on June 21st. In the meantime, I’ve linked to several places that pre-orders can be placed below.

Just as a note: I will be taking print pre-orders through my online store until the end of day on June 13th (which is pretty much when I give up playing games and writing/editing and go to bed). All print pre-orders will then be shipped on June 14th. Don’t worry though, print copies will be available through Amazon within a week after.

Now, to add to the fun, I will be taking questions from comments that I will answer in my post next week.

This past week, I called it good on completing the first draft of book 2. Now for the editing…

Other than that, I’m going to be enjoying more story to my favorite game today. Well, as much of it as there is, but the people in charge of Final Fantasy XIV have not let me down yet.

Yes, I play the game for the story, though blowing things up is fun too. The main scenario story line has had my attention since day 1 and has not let go. Especially with this expansion (now on patch 3.3), though I am still mad about what happens at the end of the Vault. They know how to hit me hard in the feels every single time and it doesn’t have to be a major event either – the quieter moments are just as impactful.

Given my quick overview of the patch notes, there will be also side story quests that I’m sure to enjoy as well. Most of them I’ll easily fall into – Hildebrand I usually need to prepare myself for. It’s one of those I want to enjoy the silliness and not be thinking about how stupid this questline is. Either way, I love that my character is a part of all of this story, shows up in cutscenes, makes the same facial expressions that likely the player is also (this aimed especially at Hildebrand) and is portrayed as the heroine that she is.

I hope everyone doesn’t mind that I deviated a bit today about gaming within a writing post, but I really am a sucker for a good story. I’m slowly working my way through a book I started way too long ago (keep getting distracted) that’s actually quite good, but I don’t want to talk about it yet. Eventually I’ll finish it, but hopefully before I go too heavily into editing mode.

3D Mock Up

And now the information on how to get a copy of Twisted Magics!

Ebook versions are available for pre-order through Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

Print copy pre-orders are available through my online store. I will begin shipping these on June 14th. If you would like me to sign/write something inside the book, please mark it in the special instructions.